Feature Articles

Duterte’s “New Rules” Criminalize Missionary Work

Duterte’s “New Rules” Criminalize Missionary Work

By David Chan

On February 22, 2018, three United Methodist missionaries, Adam Thomas Shaw, Tawanda Chandiwana, and Miracle Osman, participated in an International Fact Finding and Solidarity Mission (IFFSM) to look into the human rights violations in Mindanao. Since their participation in the IFFSM, their targeted persecution has ensued. The Philippine government had been attempting to forfeit the missionary visas of the three, along with Australian nun, Sr. Patricia Anne Fox, because of their participation in activities that the government deems outside the scope of what it considers “missionary work.” 

Setting the record straight on the Commission on Human Rights

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is a constitutionally mandated independent office tasked to investigate violations of the people’s civil and political rights by state parties and actors. It was borne out of fourteen years of the Filipino people’s struggle against the Marcos fascist dictatorship and enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution as a means for effecting “full respect for human rights” and as a mechanism for checks and balance within government on the matter of human rights.

Mga Kakaibang Batang Bakwit sa Marawi

Mga Kakaibang Batang Bakwit sa Marawi

Ni Riena Mercene,* Karapatan volunteer


Sa biglang tingin, walang kakaiba sa mga batang nasa Pantar, sa isang Madrasah na ginawang evacuation center nang nagsimula ang gulo sa Marawi.  Naglalaro sila, nagtatawanan, ngumingiti, at nakikipag-usap sa mga bisita.

Masaya nilang hinahabol ang isa’t isa at hinihila ang mga laruang kotseng binuo ng kanilang mga ama; mga kunwa-kunwariang kotse na ginawa gamit ang retasong kahoy, o bote ng pulbo o pabango.



Unwavering Belief behind Bars

“Steel bars, the prison cell, and confinement are not a hindrance in exercising my belief”

- former political prisoner Ronald Lucero

The case of Ronald Alcantara Lucero, 38, known to his friends as “Ka Ronald,” exemplifies the continuing state-perpetuated abuses among people whose beliefs are against the interest of those in power. He was a political prisoner for seventeen (17) years, accused of trumped-up criminal charges and convicted due to perjured testimonies by false witnesses. Despite imprisonment, he still lived his life in the cell with great conviction. Throughout years in prison, Ka Ronald refused to be demoralized and remained firm in his beliefs against the rotten system. The story of Ka Ronald serves both as a reminder of the injustices of the State and as proof of the indomitable spirit of an individual with principles.

Memories of Marcos' Martial Law and Beyond: Stories of Unsung Heroes (Part II)

Abductions, torture, salvaging or extrajudicial killings (EKJs in present parlance), widespread landgrabbing and seizure of the properties of the masses - especially of the peasant settlers, Moro and indigenous peoples - check points, zoning and searches in urban and rural communities, massive detention of innocent people, indiscriminate bombings and artillery firings, evictions and force evacuations were abhorrent yet commonplace scenes of martial law.

And yet, up to this day, these nightmares are recurring, years after the downfall of the most hated US-Marcos fascist dictatorial regime. Its vestiges still remain even after the much vaunted “restoration of democracy” associated with the installation of Pres. Corazon Cojuangco Aquino in February 1986.


Marcos' Martial Law: Recollections of a Promdi

About midnight of May 23, a friend woke me up with worrying news: President Rodrigo Duterte has just declared martial law in Mindanao. I got up to ponder why the threat of martial law is becoming very real again. After an exchange of information with friends, I went back to sleep with the resolve that first thing in the morning, I would surf the internet to find out what and why it happened, and to ascertain reliable reports on what is happening in Marawi, Mindanao.

Jailed mother and her fighter

He will only go with people in a yellow t-shirt. Baby Payter (Tagalog pronunciation of ‘Fighter”) was about to be brought out Taguig City Jail Female dorm away from his mother, Miradel Torres, a political prisoner who is detained there, along with hundreds of women detainees wearing yellow tshirts. 

Ideals and Iron Bars

"When I was a kid, some of my teachers, pag nalalaman nilang political prisoner yung dad ko, pinagsasalita ako in front of the class.” Dimpy Jazmines, 43, son

Cenon Sambola, elderly political prisoner jailed in place of his son

Cenon Sambola, a 60-year old elderly and sickly detainee, has been a political prisoner for more than a year now, as a replacement for his son, Jerson. You read it right – as a replacement. 

Free NDFP peace consultant Tirso “Ka Bart” Alcantara!

Tirso Alcantara, 62 years old, is better known as the legendary New People's Army (NPA) commander "Ka Bart." He is one of the 22 National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants, who has been detained since his arrest in early 2011.
Even before his arrest, foul fascist acts had been viciously waged against his family.